This week’s version of The Flying Pigskin took a look at one of the ugliest opening-day games in the history of the Cincinnati Bengals, and as you can imagine, there were not a lot of good things to come out of it.
In case you missed it, you can access the podcast by clicking here or listening below:
The podcast is hosted by Tanya O’Rourke and features panelists Scott Kyser and Keenan Singleton. This week’s guests once again included Mo Egger, the host of Sports Talk on 1530 AM, and yours truly.
To say that Sunday’s game was ugly would be an understatement. Maybe Tanya’s take on the game – “Good Gravy Marie that was ugly!” – said it best.
But I am not sure we are at the point yet to be calling for the firing of head coach Marvin Lewis, although many die-hard fans have been doing so for years. Yet, that was the common thread running through the program – “If they play that way on Thursday, Marvin Lewis should not be the coach on Friday.”
It is certainly true that there did not seem to be any sense of urgency among Bengals’ players, or coaches, for that matter. And, with the loss of Andrew Whitworth, the lack of leadership was never more apparent.
Whether Lewis’ job is on the line is a question only Mike Brown can answer. But there is certainly precedent for an early termination. In 2000, Mike Brown fired head coach Bruce Coslet after only three games.
The show also took us inside the locker room for an interview with Nick Vigil, the Bengals’ outside linebacker who was getting his first start after a promising rookie campaign. Vigil decried his missed tackles, but felt the defense as a whole “played pretty good.”
I did attempt to interject a note of hope by pointing to the encouraging play of Carl Lawson, the rookie fourth-round pick out of Auburn University.
Lawson was one of the few bright spots for Cincinnati on an otherwise forgettable Sunday afternoon. In only 14 pass-rushing snaps, Lawson managed three quarterback pressures, along with a couple of other nice pass-rushing efforts.
According to Pro Football Focus, which gave Lawson the second-highest grade among all Bengals with an 80.0, Lawson, who was primarily lined up across from Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley, “showed great power on the bull rush and an effective swipe to the outside. Stanley is no slouch, making the performance all the more impressive.”
With the injury to Michael Johnson and the suspension of Vontaze Burfict, Lawson should get an even longer look on Thursday night. Hopefully, he can prove to be the same kind of impact performer for the Bengals that he was in college.
While the Bengals’ infusion of youth and speed has led to some positive reviews in the past, Sunday’s game left an incredibly sour taste in everyone’s mouth. But Cincinnati was not the only team to put a poor product on the field this past weekend – “Football is just not a great product right now. There is just not a lot of good football play right now, and Bengals fans are staying away.”
Cincinnati has an opportunity to turn those negative comments into positive ones Thursday night when Houston comes to town – “If you don’t come out here and do everything you can to get this win, things can go downhill in a hurry.”
Be sure to tune in to The Flying Pigskin podcast this week, and every week hereafter. The show airs live every Monday afternoon. Who Dey! Who Dey All Day!